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  #11  
Old 09-13-2018, 05:07 PM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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One caution about the steering link products for new tailwheel pilots. I know of three runway departures, all on RV8’s, due to pilot error overcontrolling. All where new to tailwheel.
They don’t seem to be an issue for tailwheel pilots after they have some time built.

My opinion is shared by a very well known transition trainer and a few other highly experienced RV guru’s.

It is possible the products where not set up properly, or regardless of the steering system, the outcome would have been the same, but I believe the more sensitive tailwheel contributed to the problem, as did one of the guys that wrecked his 8. It was repaired, standard springs put back on, and after some time building, the link went back on. So far, so good...
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2018, 09:02 PM
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Switch from chains to rocket link on my -6. Would never go back.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:03 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titanhank View Post
Switch from chains to rocket link on my -6. Would never go back.
Ditto, with one additional note... I love the link for steering on the ground, i'm sure it saves on brake pad wear. That said, I had the locking pin wear on me at one point and before I got to disassembling it and reshaping the tip so it worked again, I got quite used to the free-castering tailwheel. As an adequately competent tailwheel pilot, I considered removing the link entirely and just leaving it free-castering. I only kept it in consideration of reduced brake pad wear while manoeuvering on the ground.
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2018, 12:48 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Personally I like the link style becasue they are clean and easy to maintain, and I like tight-coupled steering. We have Silver Bullets on all our RV’s. However, our Tundra has chains, and it flies fine. I fly lots and lots of different taildraggers - links, tight chains, loose chains, cables, full swivel, tail skids....I just adapt to whatever I am flying. They all work if you have good fundamental technique.

Paul
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Last edited by Ironflight : 09-14-2018 at 11:44 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-14-2018, 05:58 PM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
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Terry Jantzi, RV6, was the original designer of the RV/Rocket steering link, around 20 years ago. I did the initial flights with the unit on my rocket and I think that is how it got the "Rocket Link" name. We tried a few different versions, some different spring tensions and ended up with the unit that is still pretty much the same. Since then I have used the link on all my airplanes, Rockets and RVs. I really do like the feel of the unit although, like Paul I am used to other methods of steering.
For a while the steering arm would wear, especially on the heavier rocket. Vince Fraizer who now markets the link has improved the hardness of the steering arm and my current one has lasted many hours. Also included in the new steering link is the tie rope attach hole on the steering arm. I am going to take credit for idea that lead to that useful addition. It makes it much easier to keep the tail tied down rope cleaner. I have also used that "hole" as a tow point to pull the airplane backwards out of the hangar.
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  #16  
Old 09-14-2018, 06:57 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
Terry Jantzi, RV6, was the original designer of the RV/Rocket steering link, around 20 years ago. I did the initial flights with the unit on my rocket and I think that is how it got the "Rocket Link" name.
I received one of the early units from Terry for evaluation and it is still flying on my RV-6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
- links, tight chains, loose chains, cables, full swivel, tail skids..... They all work if you have good fundamental technique.
And that pretty much sums up this entire discussion.
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  #17  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:40 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
 
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Yes. Yes it does. If you know haw to make it go straight not hitting anything in the process. That's just experienced flying.

Jim
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  #18  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:10 PM
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BruceEicher BruceEicher is offline
 
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Long thread is worth a read in making an equipment decision and/or setup.
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...l+cable+chains
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2018, 07:41 AM
jliltd jliltd is offline
 
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I have a Rocket Link on my RV-8. First taildragger I have flown without chains. I find it very nice on taxi. However, my tailwheel tends to kick into swivel easier to the right than the left. So on every takeoff and landing, especially with any left crosswind component, I have my right foot up where it can catch the right brake in case the tailwheel comes out of lock and darts left. The first time it happened I had my heels on the floor and a seasoned crop duster in the back seat landing on a dirt strip with a left crosswind. As soon as the tailwheel hit with the crosswind controls it went into full swivel and started heading to the left, faster as I slowed and lost aerodynamic rudder force. I had to wake up and get my right foot up on the brake. No groundloop but embarrassing, especially with a guy in the back seat who could feel it coming a mile away as a helpless passenger.

Understanding the tendancy I have learned to be ready for it, especially with a left crosswind on takeoff or landing. I have even gone so far as to warn my passenger as we line up for takeoff with a left crosswind that they will feel a bit of a dart to the left when the tailwheel kicks loose and I have to kick the brake. This really has nothing to do with the Rocket link but the tailwheel pawl adjustment.

I have also experienced the Rocket link overcenter to reverse steering when ground handling when the mains hit a hangar door rail and the airplane bounced backwards with tension on the link. It required lifting the tail onto a support and forcing the internal spring on the link back overcenter to the original configuration. A very unlikely loading scenario during normal operation but might do the same in a severe groundloop if the airplane starts sliding backwards with pilot frantically pressing the rudder pedal to the floor.

Those are some small nits and I like my link enough to keep it but might change the tailwheel out for a different type like the Screaming Eagle I have on the RV-3B. That shoukd help the swivel kick out tendancy in a left crosswind. A friend has this configuration on his 8 and never experiences the kick out.

Jim
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  #20  
Old 09-15-2018, 08:36 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jliltd View Post
I have a Rocket Link on my RV-8. First taildragger I have flown without chains. I find it very nice on taxi. However, my tailwheel tends to kick into swivel easier to the right than the left. So on every takeoff and landing, especially with any left crosswind component, I have my right foot up where it can catch the right brake in case the tailwheel comes out of lock and darts left. The first time it happened I had my heels on the floor and a seasoned crop duster in the back seat landing on a dirt strip with a left crosswind. As soon as the tailwheel hit with the crosswind controls it went into full swivel and started heading to the left, faster as I slowed and lost aerodynamic rudder force. I had to wake up and get my right foot up on the brake. No groundloop but embarrassing, especially with a guy in the back seat who could feel it coming a mile away as a helpless passenger.

Understanding the tendancy I have learned to be ready for it, especially with a left crosswind on takeoff or landing. I have even gone so far as to warn my passenger as we line up for takeoff with a left crosswind that they will feel a bit of a dart to the left when the tailwheel kicks loose and I have to kick the brake. This really has nothing to do with the Rocket link but the tailwheel pawl adjustment.

I have also experienced the Rocket link overcenter to reverse steering when ground handling when the mains hit a hangar door rail and the airplane bounced backwards with tension on the link. It required lifting the tail onto a support and forcing the internal spring on the link back overcenter to the original configuration. A very unlikely loading scenario during normal operation but might do the same in a severe groundloop if the airplane starts sliding backwards with pilot frantically pressing the rudder pedal to the floor.

Those are some small nits and I like my link enough to keep it but might change the tailwheel out for a different type like the Screaming Eagle I have on the RV-3B. That shoukd help the swivel kick out tendancy in a left crosswind. A friend has this configuration on his 8 and never experiences the kick out.

Jim
JIm - the asymmetry you describe sounds to me like you are getting uneven where in the notch in the steering arm. Iíve had this happen, and it develops slowly, so you don;t really register that it is happening - you just learn to compensate for it. Easy way to see if this is true is to take the arm off and look for wear. If you see wear indications, you can try flipping it (if it is a two-sided arm), or just buy a new one and give it a try.

Something to check.
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